As you probably know, mammals do not undergo
parthenogenesis naturally. However, scientists
have been able to create a mouse via
parthenogenesis. The mouse embryo was created by
combining genetically altered cells from two
different female mice. As such, no male DNA
contributed to this mouse.
A process called genetic imprinting is
be one of the major reasons why mammals do not
undergo parthenogenesis. Some genes are turned on
in dad's genome and some are turned off. The same
goes for mom's genome. This is why you need DNA
from both mom and dad to create a viable embryo.
Otherwise you would be missing expression of
certain genes, which would prevent the embryo from
Some of these genes that are turned on/off
(differentially expressed) are known. In the case
of the mouse, scientists were able to express
these imprinted genes appropriately in the embryo.
The success rate was not that great ... but the
mice that developed were able to have babies on
their own (the natural way).
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